18 year old set to represent Oman at Miss India Worldwide pageant
Muscat-born Stephanie Lohale has always harboured dreams of making it big on the runway.
As a young girl, the success stories of Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan inspired her to head off the beaten path. She wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Indian beauties.
The 18 year old is now just a few months shy from realising this dream. After clinching the Miss India Oman title in Dubai, Stephanie is gearing up to represent the sultanate at the Miss India Worldwide pageant to be held in Mumbai on September 5.
She takes the Miss India Oman title from Niharika Pathak, who made it to the top ten at last year's pageant held in Abu Dhabi.
A student of design studies at the Heriot Watt University in Dubai, Stephanie was selected from among 15 candidates vying to represent GCC countries at the pageant. Incidentally, she is also the youngest contestant to participate in the pageantry this year.
But being the youngest is hardly a drawback, feels Stephanie. “My heart is in the right place and I am quite determined to make it through,” she said confidently, in a telephonic interview from Dubai.
Stephanie’s ties with Oman go a long way. She spent the first few years of her childhood in Muscat before her parents moved to Dubai.
“It’s a huge honour for me to represent Oman. My parents have worked in this wonderful country for more than five years. Even though we shifted base, they ensured that we visit the place often. Over the years, we’ve gone on several long weekend trips as a family to Salalah and Muscat,” she said.
The goal-driven teenager has started preparations for the show and is focusing more on being mentally fit for the big day.
“I do a lot of running and attend zumba classes to stay fit. But I feel that success comes easily when you have good thoughts. You need to have the right mindset and attitude, and always feel good about yourself...That’s when a lot of doors open for you. Meditation has helped me in that sense. It’s essential to know the basis of success before venturing out to seize it,” she said.
Stephanie feels that winning the Miss India Worldwide title will help further her ambitions of contributing to society.
“Winning this pageant would mean finally having a voice that’s better heard than the rest, to make that small difference I’m sure all of us would like to make at some point in our lives. It would also mean that I’d finally know and be sure of the path I’m on, that will shape me into the woman I’d like to be,” she said.
“I’m positive that with the right amount of belief and hard work, the title of Miss India Worldwide would be Oman’s.”